Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Knoxville expands benefits to include domestic partners, world to end

This just in from Knoxville Mayor Rogero's office.

The good mayor today said the city is expanding its employee benefits to include benefits for qualified domestic partners. Beginning Jan. 1, employee medical, dental, vision and dependent life benefits will be extended to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners.

"Last year, we expanded our employee nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This change in our benefits ensures that we are treating everyone fairly," Mayor Rogero said. "It will help us attract and retain the best City of Knoxville employees, regardless of their domestic situation."

City staff created the domestic partnership benefits after researching similar benefits offered by about a dozen other cities and organizations including the governments of Durham, N.C., Covington, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis, as well as Maryville College.

To be eligible for domestic partner benefits, an employee must fill out an affidavit about their committed relationship and show proof of financial interdependence (per criteria outlined in the affidavit).

Because the change is an administrative one, it does not require a vote by City Council. Employees can begin signing up for 2014 benefits during the city's annual enrollment period, which begins Oct. 23rd.

Based on the experiences of other cities and organizations, the City Finance Department estimates the new benefits may cost about $60,000 a year, which will be absorbed into the City's current annual benefits budget of approximately $13 million.

For non-married couples, domestic partner benefits may be treated as taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. Employees interested in the benefits should research and consider the tax implications.

Among the other local employers that offer domestic partner benefits are: Alcoa, AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, Boeing, Comcast, Costco, EW Scripps Co. (Knoxville News Sentinel), First Tennessee Bank, Home Depot, JC Penney, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Office Depot, Regions Bank, Scripps Interactive Networks, Sears, Sprint, SunTrust Bank, Target Corp., UPS, Verizon, Waste Management, and Wal-Mart (beginning in 2014).

Expect all sorts of outrage soon. Damn hippies.

Heh. This is going to be the end of the world for some folks.

3 comments:

Prazier said...

Lets see, if you're legally married in TN, it's between a man and a woman and to dissolve such a union it requires a divorce. So what sort of affidavit must a domestic partnership have that equals that?

Prazier said...

Lets see, if you're legally married in TN, it's between a man and a woman and to dissolve such a union it requires a divorce. So what sort of affidavit must a domestic partnership have that equals that?

Mike Donila said...

from what I understand, you somewhat answered the question. You'd have to sign a legal affidavit that says you're committed, and there's some finance stuff you have to prove, also.